The unfortunate truth about growth is that not everyone has the drive for it. Everyone wants to be better (lose weight, learn a new language, be more patient… you name it) but when it comes to putting in the work necessary: crickets. It’s not easy and I would argue that growth is the number one reason why it’s okay to outgrow relationships.
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It's not always easy to accept but sometimes relationships don't work. Find out why it’s okay to outgrow relationships in your life and evaluate your own. Click To Tweet
Before we go any further I want to clarify. I am talking about relationships with friends, not your spouse or other family members. The reason being is that it is much easier to grow together when 2 people are living together and putting in the work. If you feel that you are outgrowing your spouse, I urge you seek counseling as soon as you notice or feel that way.
Water Drop Relationships
If you look at it like water drops on a surface, each family is a water drop. An individual water drop can change drastically without it really affecting the other drops. For instance, if you add red food coloring to one drop, that doesn’t make the other drops red. However, all of the molecules that make up that one drop of water will eventually be tinted.
Meanwhile, another water drop has blue food coloring placed in it. That doesn’t change the color of the red drop. However, if you try to mix the drops, they will turn purple.
That is how friendships evolve. Your water drop is changing colors and so are all of the molecules inside, ie: your family members. Your friend’s water drop isn’t changing in the same way as yours and if they change too drastically from each other, there aren’t enough commonalities left.
In this situation, it isn’t anyone’s fault so there’s no blame. You have simply both changed in irrevocable ways that you are no longer compatible friends.
Common Reasons Moms Outgrow Relationships
Although no one seems to talk about it, being a mom constantly changes you in ways you never imagined. Because of that, there are some ways that you outgrow relationships more quickly, painfully, and reluctantly than others. Here are 4 common examples:
What You Need When You Needed It
This sounds callous but it doesn’t mean that either person used the other. It simply means that while you were in a particular life phase, emotional phase, or physical phase this friend was exactly what you needed. For example, if you were trying to get fit maybe you found a workout buddy at the gym.
You pushed each other, made healthy food choices, and held each other accountable. Then, you wanted to push further and start body building. You workouts, habits, and accountability are going to change drastically. If your friend doesn’t want to change in the same way and you don’t have other common interests, this can be the end of the relationship.
Arguably the most common and easily changed way to outgrow relationships is parenting differences. When your children were babies, this friend took walks with you or you enjoyed play dates together. As you children grow, you start noticing major differences in the way that you parent.
For example, you are just happy when your kid eats a carrot stick with their chicken nuggets and your friend says “fast food” like it’s a dirty word. Another example is if one mom chooses to spank and the other is vehemently against it.
In some cases you may be able to work out the differences. However, when they are drastically different or go against your core beliefs you have likely outgrown it.
Although not the most common reason for outgrowing relationships, I do believe that personal is the number one example of why it is okay to do so. When you are striving to be better, do better, and achieve more the friends who don’t feel the same way will not be growing and changing with you. Most people don’t want to put in the work, and that’s okay. It is also okay for you to determine that your goals and interests no longer align and choose to let the friendship go.
I love the quote from this article that, “[t]he people that you hang around are the single most important decision that you’ll ever make in your life.” It’s true. If you want to continue growing and improving, the people you spend your time with matter. It is important to choose people whose goals and interests align with your own. You cannot force anyone to grow. If your current circle of friends feels stagnant, or worse, restricting, then it’s a sign you need to move on.
Before kids, you and your friend loved shopping, checking out new restaurants, and exploring new places. Once you both have kids, your friend constantly wants to go to the park or the zoo with the kiddos. You, on the other hand, would much rather play with your kids at home in the backyard. (Or vice-versa) This can become a fundamental difference that changes the friendship. Again, it is not because either of you are bad or there is someone to blame. It is simply a difference between the two of you that cannot be rectified.
The Glass Half Full Side of Outgrowing Relationships
Losing a friend is never easy (unless that friend is truly toxic or unhealthy for you). However, there is an upside to it that can help you through the transition. We all have a finite amount of time in a given day. The mutual loss of a friendship frees up that time to find new people to connect with.
Consider outgrowing relationships an opportunity to push yourself further and meet new people. Surround yourself with people who fit this phase of your life. Find the ones who share your goals and interests. Push each other to be better. What an incredible opportunity!
Now that you know why it’s okay to outgrow relationships, it’s time for the hard part. Take time today to evaluate the relationships in your life and decide if there are any you have outgrown but still try to hold onto. If there are circles in which you don’t feel like you can be yourself, those definitely need to go.
Most will be more subtle, as in the friend who moved across the country and you only text each other occasionally. A great way to evaluate your friendships is to go back to your boundaries work in your journal. Look at where you thought about what you want and expect from your relationships and cut the ones that don’t fit with that.
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How to Rediscover Yourself After Marriage and Motherhood Series
- Why All Moms Need a Journal
- Determine Your Why for Self Discovery
- Find Your Cheerleaders
- DIY Positive Affirmation Cards
- Create Your SAHM Hierarchy of Needs
- The Hard Truth About Carving Out Me Time
- 5 Awesome Podcasts to Inspire Self Discovery
- How to Love Yourself First
- Stop Reacting to Life and Live Proactive
- How to Set and Protect Boundaries as a Mom
- How Moms Can Stop Being People Pleasers
- Why It’s Okay to Outgrow Relationships
- It’s Time to Break-up with Yourself
- Create a Mini Mom Oasis for Recharging
- Why Moms Should Date Themselves + How to Do It
- How to Get Your Free Time Back as a SAHM
- Turn Someday into Today
- Why You Should Throw Out Your Clothes
- Rediscover Your Old Hobbies
- How to Find New Hobbies You Love
- How to Create a Daily Self Care Routine
- Shut Down Your Negative Self Talk
- How a Haircut Can Help You Find Yourself
- Make a Bucket List You’ll Actually Complete
- Unique Alternative Ideas to Help You Find Yourself
- Why SAHM Need to Unplug Weekly
- 10 Mom Date Ideas You Can Do at Home
- 10 Mom Date Ideas to Get Out of the House
- Embracing Your Weird as a Mom
- How to Practice Mindful Reflection
I’m a nerdy, crafty mom of three adorable little kids. I love writing and creating, but in my non-existent free time I also love karaoke, taking my kids to the zoo, and reading. I got my degree in Science (no idea how that happened) but I took every English class I could get my hands on because, yeah, I’m that girl.